Level of Proof for Evolution

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by BenTheMan, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    aaronmark:

    Various diseases undergo positive mutations quite regularly. It's one of the big worries about avian influenza - that it will mutate so as to be directly transmissible among human beings, or so as to become an airborne illness.

    Already, we have a number antibiotic-resistant types of bacteria, and they cause huge problems in hospitals everywhere.
     
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  3. aaronmark Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply, James R. I'm curious, though, is the evolution of viruses simple natural selection or are they developing and passing on new genetic material to their progeny?
     
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  5. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    I think you should look at some reference material about virus replication, http://biology.about.com/library/weekly/aa110900a.htm . Viruses can replicate very quickly. Many generations in a short period of time will result in quick genetic divergence. The ability to evade immune systems is the selection pressure. A virus that cannot evade the host cells immune response will not be able to reproduce.
     
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  7. John99 Banned Banned

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    Right James. BUT the Avian flu does not mutate into a whole chicken. Surely you realize that this line of reasoning hurts evolution more than it helps because all these mutations retain the same basic biological structure.
     
  8. D H Some other guy Valued Senior Member

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    James R never said Avian flu mutates into a whole chicken. That is a red herring thrown out by creationists. That said, it is conceivable that something like avian flu could evolve into something like a chicken -- given a few billion years.
     
  9. aaronmark Registered Member

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    Great article, Repo Man! That's helpful for jokers like me who dropped out of college before getting to this kind of stuff.

    So it does look like the adaptation of viruses is a case of rapid natural selection, and that their "mutation" is not mutation that introduces new genetic material from one generation to the next. It's just viruses being viruses. Very helpful information, though.

    I'm hoping to find a study where scientists have been able to identify the "normal" genetic structure of an organism ahead of time, and then observe a mutation that introduces new genetic material of some kind (an extra chromosome, for instance) that is advantageous to the organism.

    (And in response to some articles linked to earlier... near duplicate series in DNA do not constitute evidence of extra genetic material... the reuse of the numeral 4 is necessary to create the unique number 49,244. Duplication of certain genetic patterns is inherent in the genetic definition of different organisms.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2008
  10. aaronmark Registered Member

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    I agree that his response was off topic. But it is not clear to me yet that a virus could progress that way via mutation. I have seen countless examples of mutations that augment an organisms genetic material... but all of these result in death (or conditions that prevent reproduction and inhibit survival).

    I am still searching for an example of an "augmenting mutation" (not simple natural selection) that does not kill the organism. When I find that, then I will be content to concede that your virus could become a chicken. Though, why it would want to, I do not know.

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  11. John99 Banned Banned

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    So you want to begin with fully developed complex organisms?
     
  12. Enmos Staff Member

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    I believe the question was about evolution, not life.
    Mules, not being able to replicate, cannot come to be as a species through evolution.
     
  13. John99 Banned Banned

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    Enmos, when did the first fully functioning heart appear?
     
  14. Enmos Staff Member

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    I believe it was May 4th 1977..
    How should I know ?
     
  15. John99 Banned Banned

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    Is that what you would say to a student who asked that question?
     
  16. Enmos Staff Member

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    I am not a teacher..
     
  17. John99 Banned Banned

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    That is not the point.
     
  18. Enmos Staff Member

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    What is your point ?
     
  19. aaronmark Registered Member

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    Not sure I understand... Personally, I'm looking for a documented case of an organism with any level of complexity surviving a mutation that causes it to become more genetically complex.

    The only cases I've seen where new genetic material is introduced, the organism dies. The more complex the organism, the longer it seems to survive, but they have been invariably unable to reproduce or inhibited in their survival.
     
  20. aaronmark Registered Member

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    I think you guys are looking for the Bicker Forum.
     
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Uh, yes they do. They are the extra genetic material itself. And they provide sites for mutations less likely to prove immediately harmful, and available for future or present benefit - that is just one of several of the "augmenting mechanisms" you claim to seek, that have already been pointed out to you. We find traces of its past operations in every genome we study.

    Again, you seek labarotory events that are almost impossible (and very expensive) to observe in a lab, and almost never sought in controlled circumstances.

    We have thousands of events of extra genetic material introduced - by natural, artificial, and chance means - in controlled stiuations, that proved adaptive to those situations; seedless watermelons have spread all over the world, due to their superior adaptation to human consumption, for one example. They are very well adapted to their new environment.

    We will almost never observe beneficial adaptation to wild conditions under controlled circumstances because in wild conditions we are not observing in controlled conditions. OK ?
    According to Darwinian theory, there is no such thing as the "first fully functioning heart". You would know this if you understood Darwinian theory. The idea that there had to be a "first" af a complex thing is a Creationist idea, which Darwinian theory specifically replaces with the mechanism of evolution.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2008
  22. John99 Banned Banned

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    You mean to tell me that if i asked you for an approximation of when the first fully functioning heart (even a primitive version) appeared or the path it took to evolve that you have absolutely no idea?

    Yet you are 100% certain of evolution?
     
  23. Enmos Staff Member

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    This is a nonsense argument. But fine, I will amuse you.
    The sea squirt was one of the first organisms to have a primitive heart, the mamalian heart evolved from it.
    The sea squirt evolved 550 million years ago, so there is your answer.
    If you would accept more primitive tissues which were the precurors of the heart that date would be much earlier of course.
    Satisfied ?
     

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